Lawmakers consider bringing tolls to CT

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A public hearing is going on at the State Capitol as lawmakers consider a bill that would bring tolls back to Connecticut highways.

Some legislators believe it's a question of when, not if tolls will return to Connecticut highways.
"I don't know if we're getting tolls back today, but I think it's inevitable that we will see them in the future," said Rep. Antonio Guerrera. "I think we need to look at different ways to fund out infrastructure."

Guerrera and the rest of the transportation committee heard public testimony on whether tolls should be everywhere or just at major border crossings. Wherever they are, Mike Riley knows the trucking industry will pay a big price, again.

"We're already paying the highest fuel taxes in this country, we're dealing with an incredibly congested state and all they're talking about is picking our pockets for more money," said Michael Riley, Motor Transportation Association of CT.

If the tolls go on the borders, then there is an inside versus outside issue in Connecticut. People along 95 in Greenwich, 84 in Danbury, 91 in Enfield, and 95 in Stonington feel they will pay more than the people in the middle of the state.

"If someone lives on the border and goes to New York every day, or in Enfield who goes to Massachusetts, maybe we give them a discount on their transponder or maybe a reduction on their income tax," said Guerrera.

One thing you will not see is the same old toll plazas like we had before the 1983 crash at the Stratford toll plaza that killed six people. Lawmakers say any tolls these days would be completely electronic.

"In fact, they've told us within approximately five years, they will have a transponder the size of a band-aid that goes on your windshield and covers every state in the United States," said Guerrera.

In Connecticut, the toll money is needed because more fuel efficient cars mean revenue from the gasoline tax is going down, while wear and tear on roads and bridges is not.

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Maybe they should run TV ads with pictures of the pile up that killed 7 people in Stratford and led to the end of toll roads in CT. Im sure everyone would support the tolls then
Looks like it's time to replace the folks in Hartford.

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